It’s been a year of both ups and downs for strawweight Vanessa Demopoulos. Following two straight wins to kick off the year, including an LFA championship victory in July, Demopoulos’ momentum was halted in her next bout, losing to Corey McKenna at Dana White’s Contender Series 2020 in August.
Looking back on her two fights in just under a month, it was perhaps the short timeframe that lead to Demopoulos having one of the lesser performances of her career.
“When the call came for Sam (Hughes) I was ready for five rounds,” Demopoulos told MMAWeekly.com. “All I was doing was cardio training and working in my specific skills all day long. It was the first training camp I had where I could actually focus on training, and it showed up against Sam.
“I just won the LFA belt, I’m on top of the world, and I get a phone call for the Contender Series and I didn’t even blink. We took that fight and I fell a little flat. It was a short camp, so maybe I didn’t give myself enough time for that, but I lost that Contender Series fight.”
Rather than stay the course in her training, Demopoulos acknowledges that changes had to be made in her training so she could get back on the winning track.
“There’s a lot of things to learn even from your wins, but especially when you lose,” said Demopoulos. “You take a look at everything and evaluate. I saw some things I need to work on, so I went back to the drawing board.”
On Friday in Park City, Kan., Demopoulos (5-2) will look to rebound against Lupita Godinez (4-0) in the LFA 94 strawweight championship main event.
“Loopy is an aggressive fighter,” Demopoulos said. “She’s undefeated right now, so you’ve got to give her respect in that aspect. She’s got a really good wrestling pedigree.
“(The key to getting the win is) knowing your opponent, knowing what things she might be looking out for, and understanding my strengths and the things I’m capable of doing.”
No matter the circumstances surrounding a fight, Demopoulos chooses to live in the moment and not let anything outside the cage matter to her.
“I am the champion right now of the LFA, and it does mean something, but when it comes to walking out there, nothing matters,” said Demopoulos. “I’m 0-0. She’s 0-0. The scoreboard is at zero – you’ve got to fight – that’s it – period.
“You’ve got to come with the same type of intensity and the same type of rawness; it doesn’t matter if I’m the champ or the underdog, I’m coming to fight, coming to win, and take what’s mine.”
Inside LFA 94 with Ron Kruck
(Video courtesy of LFA)